Monday, March 30, 2015

Beastie Boys - Solid Gold Hits

Beastie Boys - Solid Gold Hits
2005, Capitol

1. So What'cha Want
2. Brass Monkey
3. Ch-Check It Out
4. No Sleep Til Brooklyn
5. Hey Ladies
6. Pass the Mic
7. An Open Letter to NYC
8. Root Down
9. Shake Your Rump
10. Intergalactic
11. Sure Shot
12. Body Movin'
13. Triple Trouble
14. Sabotage
15. Fight For Your Right

So last year I got into Tom Petty starting with a best of and I think this year it will be the Beastie Boys' turn. I picked this up, much like the Tom Petty one, because I realized I liked a lot of their songs. I used to own To The 5 Boroughs... once. I can't remember why I got rid of it. The songs here are not in chronological order which can be both good and bad depending on the artist. I don't mind here. Not much else to say other than I really enjoy this more than I thought I would. I'll probably be picking up some more Beastie Boys in time.

Useless Fact: Ready for another weird association? Beastie Boys and Metroid on the old Nintendo. See I had a friend that had License to Ill and I went to his house right after renting Metroid. Somehow the two got linked.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The O.C. Supertones - "Supertones Strike Back"

The O.C. Supertones - Supertones Strike Back
1997, BEC

1. Supertones Strike Back
2. The Grace Flood
3. Resolution
4. Perseverance of the Saints
5. Like No One Else
6. Louder Than the Mob
7. Unite
8. Shut Up and Pray
9. Tonight
10. Little Man
11. Caught Inside
12. So Great a Salvation

I enjoyed reacquainting myself with the Supertones' debut so much I went out and go their sophomore album. I don't think this one is quite as much fun as the debut. It just didn't get into my brain like the first one. One of the things that annoy me is the "I'm not worthy" type lyrics. It's one thing to be humble and acknowledge God's grace, it's another thing to constantly focus on how "unworthy" you are. I think the lyrics tip the balance here - focusing too much on the singer. It's not terrible by any means, but I don't like it near as much as the debut.

Useless Fact: The beginning riff of "Supertones Strike Back" is lifted from Metallica's "Master of Puppets" I believe.

Friday, March 13, 2015

MxPx - "Life in General"

MxPx - Life In General
1996, Tooth & Nail

1. Middlename
2. My Mom Still Cleans My Room
3. Do Your Feet Hurt?
4. Sometimes You Have To Ask Yourself
5. The Wonder Years
6. Move To Bremerton
7. New York To Nowhere
8. Andrea
9. Your Problem My Emergency
10. Chick Magnet
11. Today Is In My Way
12. Sorry So Sorry
13. Doing Time
14. Correct Me If I'm Wrong
15. Christalena
16. Destroyed By You
17. Southbound

I was a pretty big MxPx fan in my mid-teens. Mostly because that's what there was after the scene transitioned from metal to alternative and punk. Their music never quite stuck with me and even though they've been putting out albums for years I've never been interested in checking them out. Life In General is certainly their best record up until that point. Pokinatcha wasn't very good except for a few songs though Teenage Politics improved the band's sound immensely. For their third outing they've honed their sound to a nice sheen. Their production is good - with a nice meaty guitar tone and little in the way of ear-piercing feedback. The songs retain a lot of their speed but have more commercial hooks as well. A good balance if you ask me. The lyrics are laughably teenagery, but I can't fault them too much because they were teenagers at the time. It just reminds me of when I was a teenager. Though I certainly hope they've matured lyrically since then. I will say that "Middlename" is probably one of my favorite songs of all time.

I was going to see MxPx at Kingdom Bound one year but their show got rained out. They didn't even set up their merch table or anything. I was bummed.

Useless Fact: I can play several songs on this album on the guitar. One of the few times I can pick out the chords by ear. Not that that would be very hard.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Model Engine - "The Lean Years Tradition"

Model Engine - The Lean Years Tradition
1997, 5 Minute Walk

1. Hang You Upside Down
2. Scarred But Smarter
3. Reeperbahn
4. Suture
5. Weathervanes
6. Walking Wounded
7. Anonymous F
8. Halcyon Days
9. Encore
10. Rosinante

I've always considered 1997 one of the worst years for music (at least for me personally). Though now that I know that Model Engine's (formerly Black Eyed Sceva) one and only album came out that year I might have to reconsider. If you liked Black Eyed Sceva's two albums I can't imagine you would love this one as well. There are some differences, however. The sound I think is a little bit dirtier and grungier here with the guitars taking on a distinctly fuzzier tone. Also, while the lyrics are still excellent, they're not quite as transparent as Sceva. That's not a complaint, by the way, I love the lyrics on this album. I'm just a little sad that I could have been listening to this album for years and years. If only I would have gotten it sooner...

Useless Fact: The "F" in "Anonymous F" stands for exactly what you think it stands for.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Razormaze - "Annihilatia"

Razormaze - Annihilatia
2013, Slaney

1. Something Like a War
2. The Slowest Death
3. Worshiping the Void
4. Sink  Below
5. Demagogue
6. Electric Deception
7. Terminal Escape
8. Without Words

Here's another album that, if I was honest with myself, I bought strictly for the cover art. 'Cause that is a cool cover right there. Razormaze play fast and furious thrash with just a smidgen of progressive-ness in there. The vocals are varied from thrash shouts to growls to some singing. "Singing" would probably be a better way of putting it. Not that it's bad it's just... metal. However, all the full throttle technical riffing kind of makes the album inscrutable. I mean, usually after a few listens I get used to the music and can really dig in and discover its wonderfulness. However, even after several listens Annihilatia felt very much impenetrable. Like I was locked outside and not able to really immerse myself. Does that make any sense? I'm not even sure why I feel that way as this is not a bad disc in the slightest.

Useless Fact: I have no idea what the monster on the cover is supposed to be. The um... Illuminati Octopus? It's very Lovecraftian. Illuminati Octopus would make a good name for a band.